2020 Toyota Camry Problems and Top Complaints – Is Your Car A Lemon?

Excessive battery drain, electrical system, and engine issues are among the top complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners

Updated on Author: Brian Jones | Reviewer: Sergei Lemberg

The Toyota Camry has a long history in America. The 2020 Toyota Camry is said to “surpass all expectations,” according to the manufacturer. However, customer complaints prove that the automaker hasn’t come close to meeting these hopes. Whether it is the defective electrical system, malfunctioning engine, or a wide range of other problems including coolant leaks, many owners feel let down by this Camry.

Click on other model year to view more problems:  2019   2021   2022

Most Common Problems

More than 58% of the problems owners of the 2020 Toyota Camry are complaining to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) about relate to the electrical system and engine. The bulk of electrical system issues are due to battery problems, with most of these relating to excessive battery drain. Engine issues are varied, but many relate to coolant system issues including leaks, dreadful coolant smells, and overheating.

Other components and systems that people are unhappy about are airbags, backover prevention, brakes, electronic stability control, engine and engine cooling, forward collision avoidance, fuel systems, lane departure, latches/locks/linkages, powertrain, seat belts, steering, structure, suspension, tires, vehicle speed control, and various visibility problems. This shows that there is a lot wrong with a large number of 2020 Toyota Camry vehicles.

Adding to these problems, there are also three recalls about airbags, engine and engine cooling, and the gasoline fuel system.

Nearly a million Toyota vehicles have front passenger airbags that may not deploy in a crash because of a short circuit. A huge number more — 1,525,742 — are at risk of stalling because of faulty fuel pumps. And 44,191 could catch on fire because of an engine that has an issue that could allow coolant to leak.

2020 Toyota Camry Complaint Summary

Complaint CategoryNumber of Complaints
Electrical System
44
44
Engine
36
36
Unknown Or Other
25
25
Fuel/propulsion System
18
18
Air Bags
9
9
Service Brakes
7
7
Power Train
6
6
Visibility/wiper
5
5
Seat Belts
4
4
Structure:body
4
4

Electrical System

Whether customers are relying on the electrical system to listen to music or to start the car engine, this system is vital to everyday operation. However, there are major problems ranging from starting system issues, loss of power while driving, dashboard malfunctions, and door lock/unlock issues, to software update glitches and the electrical system going dead. But the majority of electrical system problems relate specifically to battery drain, so we will deal with those separately.

An owner from Florida shares a dramatic description of how the battery of his Camry exploded. While starting the Camry, “the front end of the vehicle made abnormal exploding sounds and there was smoke coming from under the hood.” The dealer replaced the battery. But then there were all sorts of warning messages and an alarm sounded persistently. This time, the dealer stated that rodents had damaged the electrical wires. However, an independent mechanic “determined that the failure was caused by the acidic residues that remained in the hood after the battery explosion.”

Another Florida owner also had battery issues. In this case, they led to a loss of motive power. Not related to battery drain, this complaint highlights a potentially dangerous situation caused by an electrical problem.

An owner from Colorado experienced two instances of parking the 2020 Camry and the “electrical system going ‘dead’ within 24-36 hours.” A Toyota Service Center confirmed that this was due to battery failure in a battery that was less than two years old.

Several other complaints suggest that software updates might cause unintended consequences like pre-collision warnings or stereo malfunction. Others mention warning lights and messages flashing on the dashboard like a “Christmas tree” alongside starting issues, indicating broader electrical problems.

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Battery Drain

Moving onto the battery, Toyota is aware of some troubles with this system — and has been for years. Service Bulletin #T-SB-0007-19 issued in January 2019, talks about different aspects that can affect the performance and life of the battery. The reason for this bulletin was to address a growing number of customer concerns about needing a new battery within the first year of the car’s life. Matters have only gotten worse since then.

There are a huge number of complaints about battery drain in the 2020 Toyota Camry. Many of these describe the battery dying within a short period — overnight to a few days— of non-use. There are also multiple instances that showcase the fact the dealerships are commonly unable to resolve the problem. Some complaints state that dealerships offer unhelpful suggestions. Additionally, it is clear that battery drain occurs in all-age cars, even those that are new.

Examples

An owner from Alabama states that the battery keeps draining with no warning. It “has left me stranded multiple times. I have had the battery checked and it is fine.”

An owner from North Carolina reports multiple electrical issues. The dealership did numerous tests and diagnosed that the battery was faulty. “So they replaced the battery with a new one. I didn’t understand how it could be the battery when this is a brand new car with less than 12,000 miles on the vehicle.” But within four months the new battery failed. “This vehicle has not performed to the standards I expected since the day of purchase in March 2020. But the State of Georgia will not allow you to submit a lemon law claim because the vehicle was not out of commission for 30 days total.”

An owner from Maryland describes how a brand new Camry experienced quick battery drain. There was slight hesitation while starting the car. “I attributed the issue to the cold temperatures and allowed the car to warm up before driving. Yesterday afternoon my car wouldn’t start at all. it makes a clicking and rattling noise similar to an old clunker.” The dealership said to have the car towed, but it was a weekend and they wouldn’t be able to check the car until the following Monday. They refused to supply a loaner.

An owner from Minnesota’s car was 11 months old when the battery failed. A Toyota repair shop re-charged the battery, installed a reset, and did a firmware update. “There was no assurance that the problem is fixed and will not occur again. As a driver, this leaves me vulnerable to being stranded without transportation, and reliant on help from strangers if parked in remote recreation areas without cell phone access.”

Engine

Coolant system issues top the reason for complaints to the NHTSA about the 2020 Camry, There are also lots of complaints about unexpected engine shutdown as well as acceleration problems.

Coolant System

Multiple NHTSA complaints that report coolant leaks, smell of coolant, and overheating. This could be due to a faulty coolant bypass valve or a problem with the engine block itself.

An owner from Tennessee quotes an engine fault code P268115: “Engine Coolant Bypass Valve Control Circuit/Open: Circuit Short To Battery or Open. This is a huge ongoing problem with Toyota vehicles. You can do a simple search and find 100s of people with the same issue. This must be addressed and a recall issued for repair.”

There is no doubt that there is an issue. Another owner refers to the same problem, stating that he was told “there’s a back order on the coolant bypass valve because it is a national issue.” To make matters worse, the complaint states, “My car has been determined as unsafe to drive until the part can be replaced in 2-3 weeks.”

Additionally, a huge number of complaints talk about the horrible coolant smell they experience. A large number simply state “engine smells of coolant!”

Unexpected Engine Shutdown

Several complaints describe the engine shutting down unexpectedly while driving. This is a serious safety concern and could be caused by various factors like fuel pump failure, software issues, or a problem with the crankshaft position sensor.

An owner from Arizona tells how “the car engine turned off and check engine light came on along with warnings about brake system failures, fuel system failures, and (a) message to contact your dealer. Any attempts to restart the car failed.” He explains that “a small air intake resonator box that connects to the airflow between the air filter compartment and the throttle” cracked and broke off. “This is a defect in the design and if this had happened at highway speeds could have had serious consequences.”

Another owner states that a failure “of the crankshaft position plate which is mounted between the flywheel and crankshaft brake” caused the “engine to shut down while driving due to (the) crank position sensor not receiving signal.” This owner is a technician who has seen multiple failures of this kind! His main concern is that his wife drives a 2020 Camry and he’s afraid that “her car may cut off in traffic causing an accident.”

Acceleration Delay

While there aren’t as many complaints about this malfunction, the issue is that there is a hesitation or delay in acceleration, which can be dangerous in traffic situations.

An owner from California tells how the car does not always accelerate when trying to take off. There is a major delay in acceleration that is extremely dangerous. “I have been almost hit by oncoming traffic when crossing the highway several times. I have taken (the) car into (the) dealership and was told that I have to wait for an update in (the) car computer system.”

A New York owner highlights multiple episodes when acceleration was delayed. “Whether the car is at a stop or in motion, there is a delay from when the accelerator is depressed to when the engine responds and revs leading to more power and speed. For example, when stopped at a light trying to make a left turn, I press the accelerator down and there is no major change in speed and revs until seconds later, when the engine then goes from 1000 RPMS to 3000 RPMS. This can be dangerous and almost led to an accident as there was an oncoming car that almost hit me as I was trying to make the turn.”

Your Lemon Law Legal Rights

Do you have major problems with your 2020 Toyota Camry that affects its use and/or value? If so, you might have bought a lemon. Don’t despair.

In the case of lemon law, Toyota must pay the legal fees, so you may be able to get your lemon out of your life. Call the Lemberg Law Helpline or fill out a contact form and we’ll assess your problems at no cost to you.

Brian Jones

About the Author:

Brian Jones spent more than 30 years working as an ASE Certified Master Tech and Parts Specialist at multiple dealerships. Brian has become an authority in the industry, traveling across the country to consult for car dealerships and contributing his expertise as a writer for several major automotive publications. In his spare time, Brian enjoys working on pickup trucks, muscle cars, Jeeps and anything related to motorsports.

See more posts from Brian Jones
32 COMMENTS
  • Jennifer

    Hi bought my 2020 Camry brand new, a couple months after purchasing the car, it started stuttering at all speeds. I have taken it in to the dealership many times and they inform me everytime that the computer diagnostic system does not detect any errors of any kind. I have asked the dealership about the engine that is recalled for the 2020 Camry, and could this issue I am having have anything to do with it. I am told no, and that they cannot find anything wrong with the car! I am nervous this car is going to stop working while on the highway, because it seems to stutter more often while at higher speeds. Can anyone help?

  • April

    I purchased 2020 Toyota camry AWD in March 2021 with only 4,000 and the dealership has had my vehicle more than its been in my yard.. I have to keep taking it back for the same problem over and over again with the problem still not being fixed.. does anyone else have or notice this problem.? I keep feeling a skip while the vehicle is in motion..was told it was a misfire the first time..it was supposedly fixed within a week or two had to return my vehicle back to the dealership again and said they needed to drive it to see if computer would catch it.. it did not but said they felt it.. they returned my vehicle to me not fixed but said it was…. returned the vehicle again for the same reason and this has been going on for over a year…said toyota rep was coming to drive it and said toyota rep said nothing is wrong with it but vehicle still does it.😠 Whenever I have riders in my car and they feel the skip they always ask me what was that? I just reply something that the dealership said they don’t feel smh…I’ve been stressing about this situation and the dealership acts as if they owe me nothing and this issue has been going on over a year..knowing I’ve done had almost 10 of their rentals driving them for weeks or months while they so call check my car out😠 can someone help me? I think I’ve been sold a LEMON and the dealership isn’t wanting to admit it.

  • alberto

    I have 2020 toyota camry se with 8k miles in the front struts and wheelbearing are bad the dealership not want fixed they want charge $2k for fixed

  • JW

    I have owned a 2020 Camry AWD for 13 months and 14000 miles and had the drivers window fall out of the track a few weeks ago. I took it in for repair and was told that it was operator error and that it was not covered under warranty. After I fought them on that they told me that it would be covered by the dealership but it was still operator error and not covered by Toyota. (Not sure how using the window switch causes a window to fall off track but regardless.) Fast forward two weeks after the repair and it has happened again. I contacted the customer relations manager who was very nice and assured me they would take care of it but I’m still wondering why is this happening… ???
    I am posting this for any others that may be having similar problems.

  • Megan

    Spent 4 Hours at Dealership to have SOS system updated due to my car having dead battery 3 times in the past month… Replaced Battery also which is not cheap and even had to pay for the update. Love my car but should not be having these issues. I drive it everyday!!!! Nothing has been left on… Toyota needs to issue a recall this seems to be a big problem!!!!!

  • Antonio M

    I have a 2020 hybrid only had 4 miles on it last week engine light came on .I took it to the dealership and was told I had to pay for a diagnostic test which said I needed a new engine. Toyota told me it’s not they fault and call my insurance company. I’m so disappointed in Toyota.

  • S. H

    My 2020 camry had 18, plus miles on it this is the second time my car won’t start. Took it to Arlington Toyota, the first time. They said nothing was wrong with it 3 weeks later here I am again. Missing work and kids missing school. Terrible car… VERY DISAPPOINTED!

  • John

    battery died after 16k miles on day I had to take wife to surgery. It took 12 hours just to get it towed to dealer ( I paid 1600.00 for Toyota extended warranty) Dealer told me battery failed and after a new battery and re-boot it should be fine…I’m afraid to drive it anywhere…if it starts! Very dissapointed

  • Brenda G

    Purchased a 2020 Toyota Camry SE in July 2020. I too have had 2 experiences with the battery draining. I did not take it to the Dealer to be checked. But I also have experienced a RATTLING noise in my DASH not long after I purchased the car. I have investigated everything and I know the noise is coming from the DASH. Sometimes in the ODOMETER area, sometimes in the Middle display area, and sometimes from the far right side of the dash. The RATTLE moves around but it is coming from the dash. I took it in to the Dealer in September 2021. The TECHs informed the ADVISOR JP it was the driver sunvisor, of course I knew it was not that. But I let them replace it on 9/27/21. That same day the RATTLE continued. I did let the ADVISOR JP know via in person while getting my oil changed on 10/02/21. I have not schedule a new date to take it back. Very frustrated.

  • Carnecia W

    Purchased my 2020 Toyota Camry last October, so technically it hasn’t been quite a year yet. Last month the battery drained and the dealership recharged it and updated the software. Again last night the battery drained leaving me stranded at the movies.

  • Ginger

    Also have the battery problem with the hybrid. They said the hybrid battery was draining the auxiliary battery. AAA couldn’t charge it, the dealership had to come out to do it. Said they would do a software update and also asked how often I drive it. I drive it everyday and it is a 2020 SE with about 7,500 miles. It was also in the shop about three months ago with major hybrid issues. Not sure what they were but after $5,100 was spent (under warranty so I didn’t have to pay) the paperwork only said replaced a fuel pump which took them getting a special technician from Toyota in and 13 days to “fix”. I want my money back.

  • Roberta M

    I bought my new Toyota Camry 2020 last year, because I thought new car, means dependability since I was forced to buy a new car due to my Hyundai GT dying on me. Well was doing fine, then this year in April 2021 the car while at my house wouldn’t start, got a jump from AAA then went to the dealership and was told “cars are just like that” and that it wasn’t the battery when the AAA said it was. Okay i thought. Come August 2021 and again same problem, thankfully I have been at my house when this happens, went in and was told they’ve seen this problem a lot with Toyota Camrys and it’s not really a “recall” but that it would take awhile to diagnose AND that I could get charged for the diagnosis! I am very very disappointed, I bought my car based on people saying Toyotas’ are great and dependable and it appears I was let down. I don’t know what to do 🙁

  • Gloria K

    I had a battery problem Sunday,wouldn’t start.Toyota said the Battery needed an update??..my car has 5296 miles 2020 Camry LE. This has never happened.I had four other Camry’s without a problem.what’s up Toyota?? Time for Voluntary recall?..It better NOT Happen Again!

  • Trish F

    I also have a 2020 Camry SE. Getting ready to go to work and car won’t start. My husband jump the car with a smaller battery pack and it didn’t start. He used a bigger one and it started and wanted to let it run for a bit before taking off. I pressed the gas pedal and there were loud clacking sound coming from the passenger front of the engine. So, we recorded the loud noise. Towed the car to Toyota and they told us that its a battery issue that needed software update. Due to the dead battery, the Valve Timing Gear was making noise. When picking up the car, the receipt stated that customer compliant loud noise but unable to verify customer compliant at this time. I was levied! I said wow, he tells me one thing and wrote down another. I tell you, Toyota got to do better with quality and customer satisfaction!

  • Mike

    I have a 2020 Camry hybrid and it has the battery drain issue also. I replaced it with a yellow top optima battery and it’s been 6 months no problem. I am definitely not happy with the car but given I am upside down I will keep it for a bit. If you have a regular Camry you would need to use the red top I believe. Anyway so far so good.

  • Danny

    I have a 2020 Toyota Camry SE battery issue. Wife comes home from work parts the car in the garage. We didn’t drive the car at all the next day. She goes to start the car the falling day and the battery didn’t have enough charge to start the car. Dealer said that we must have left something on. But there was nothing left on. This has happened twice.

  • Susan

    Experiencing dead battery issues with my 2020 toyota camry, very upset.
    This is the 5th time that my Toyota has left me stranded. The battery, alternator have been replaced, what next?

  • Debra N

    I bought a new 2020 Camry Le . After several months I notice a mold wet smell in the car . I took the car to the dealer and was told a plug under the car was missing and the entire car got wet , and all they could do is install plug and shampoo carpet and they were done. I was told they would not do anything else to my Camry . I still drove a stinky Camry until I was fed up .
    What a living nightmare I went through . I will never buy a Camry again .

  • LeAnne

    Our 2020 Camry SE had 1600 miles, sat for 5 days while we were on vacation, came back to a dead battery. Took it to a dealership and they updated two computers, anyone have battery troubles after an update?

  • Sue

    Just purchased a certified pre owned 2020 Toyota Camry SE 12 days ago. I came out to take my kid to school and the battery was dead I didn’t drive it on the weekend only 2 days and the battery is drained it has 17k miles on it. Jump state from another car and took to the dealer they had it for a couple hours and said it was a update issue so we she’ll see. This is insane a 2020 car doing this I never had problems with Honda, acura and bmw. I’m thinking my 20 year old acura is more reliable. If I would have known about all these issues I would never have bought this car and went with Honda. First Toyota and I never plan on purchasing another one.

  • Shirley F

    I truly hate this car nothing like the 2002 I had for over 18years. It is truly a piece of junk; this morning at 5 am went to leave for work and it would not crank, call for roadside service and was told I did not have it. Within 2 hours I called back thdre was no problem. Roadside gentleman came out and jump started my car and I was told by him I needed to get a portable jumper cable kit. He said he has had lots of calls for the same problem. Sitting here now at the dealership waiting on them to do a diagnostic test but they can not guarantee me this will not happen again.
    What am I suppose to do if this keeps happening? I purchased a new car thinking It would be dependable but From reading what others have written my hope is out of the window.
    I have also notice other problems with this car, floor mats are overated, car rattles, internet system is a piece of crap.

    I am totally at my wits end with this hunk of beauty.

  • Iván j

    My car has a serious problem, the engine sounds ugly and it does not have forces xse 2019

  • Ashraf K

    I had purchased a 2020 Toyota Camry XSE in SEP ’20. On FEB 17 ’21, I found my car dead – key fob couldn’t unlock the car; flickering display with multiple messages; car wouldn’t start. I had to jump with other car and it’s been going well since. After having researched and taken to dealership on FEB 25 ’21, I was told all the TSBs till date were obsolete and that I check again in two weeks for a new update. I shall also test it out to see if the problem persists by keeping it stationary for 2-3 days.

    I am in a worry for if this isn’t resolved and I may be stranded. A new car shouldn’t have such a problem.

  • Marilee D

    Purchased 2020 Camry on October 1,2020, 28 days later battery was dead. Car was jump started dealer replaced battery. January 1, 2021 battery again dead. After jump start dealer again replaced the battery. Service advisor told us to drive the car 20 miles on the highway every day to keep the battery charged. Toyota is no longer a reputable car company. Windshield cracked at the base where it was installed on vehicle. There was no damage to the vehicle. Windshield had to be replaced.

  • Lonnie

    2020 Camry LE brakes for no reason. The car brake checked three people. Transmission downshifts when you let off the accelerator. With cruise the transmission shifts constantly but hard to make it downshift going certain speeds. Transmission sounds and feels like it’s slipping in some gears. Started misfiring going up hills with cruise set this week. Crash avoidance warns to brake after the posibility of the collision is well over. Eng rattles and knocks most of the time. Can’t disable trunk button to secure items in the trunk. Valet mode in Entune doesn’t do anything except stop someone from listening to the radio.

  • Robert C

    Bought a 2020 Toyota Camry le in October it’s now February. The cars electronic features barely work if at all, my PCs which is the collision system continually malfunctions, random breaking going down the highway while the system says to be off and when the PCs is acting up you have no cruise control either. Both the dealership and Toyota corporate have done nothing to actually work on the vehicle. However, they ran one diagnostics in February saying there where no anomalies yet the lights saying it was malfunctioning where displayed, along with the no cruise message. They have refused any service and have basically said it’s my problem. This car is not even safe to drive with the system malfunctioning that controls both my throttle and breaks. Keep in mind I cannot manually override the system if it wants to go and I need to stop it just keeps accelerating while I have my foot on the break and vice versa.

  • bob r

    Experiencing dead battery issues with my 2020 toyota camry, very dissapointed.

  • Brandon d

    Bougth my 2020 toyota camry with 0 miles on agust now with 7k miles on January the battery died
    I also had issues with my doors having a rattle im the only person that uses this car none of the doors besides driver door its open but somehow 3 out the 4 doors have a rattle to it when driving on a slightly rough

  • Noreen

    I bought my 2020 Camry last November. Yesterday went out to drive it and battery dead. A service person came out and jumped it. It was fine after that. Went out this morning and dead again! Didn’t know that there were problems with the batteries. Also lots of road noise. GRRRR

  • Chris h

    Purchased a 2020 camry se there are some smaller things not satisfying but to get to the important part the drive ability at 11,ooo miles now started trying to tell toyota well before the first oil change that somthin was up it well there tec didn’t have the ability to Diagnose it so they told me that they needed to let there tec drive my car to his house overnight witch is out of our local area to be able to fix well. I Let them and he being the tec said it was a part in the transmission so the wait for part from Kentucky started well it was replaced then I was told that I needed to you guessed it.let the tec drive my car to his house agian for more data well that didn’t work so I had to call them today cuz they wernt calling me with any news now they are Chasing a problem in the electrical Something about this computer In random changing mis firing cylinders Needless to say the frustration level is on another level Where do I stand

  • Jeanette M

    I have had my 2020 Camry for 6 months. The battery was dead in 3 months. I called AAA and they recharged my battery. 3 months later I get in my car and its dead again!! I’m going to the dealership today and see what I can do. This is ridiculous. I only had my new vehicle for 6 months.

  • Imran

    Hello,
    Is this battery draining problem only known with the regular 2020 Camry or also with the 2020 Camry HYBRID?

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